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Social selling vs. Social commerce – What suits direct selling best?


Technology is adding new colors to businesses every day. From newspaper and poster ads to TV commercials and influencers, technology has revolutionized businesses. Businesses are selling themselves through creative channels and that is making all the difference. Adapting newer methods and channels help businesses reach out to the right set of audience. Direct selling scenario is no different.   

A relationship building business such as direct selling needs warmer methods to establish customer relationships. Social selling and social commerce are identified as some of the best ways to reach out to the customers. When both sound same, is there really a difference?  

Yes, there is.  

Opposed to social selling, social commerce involves making sales. Social commerce is a form of ecommerce operated through social channels. Social selling methods are adopted to create an increased awareness of products or services whereas social commerce deals with product sales alone. Social selling and social commerce both operate in the social space and are aimed at improving customer experience. Social commerce assists brands offer personalized services for their customers by giving product suggestions with personalized offers and discounts. In social selling, target audience are potential customers and in a social commerce setting, the targeted audience are people who are interested in purchasing the brand’s goods and services. Social selling is more of a marketing strategy aimed at generating quality leads to convert to potential customers.  

Direct selling companies are increasingly adopting both social selling and social commerce methods to attract and retain customers. While social selling introduced new and improved marketing techniques, social commerce opened up an all new sales platform for the direct selling brands irrespective of the size of their business.  

Statista reports that by 2026, the value of social commerce is expected to rise to $2.9 trillion. That very well explains the potential of social commerce and why companies must adopt the strategy!  

These two marketing strtegies have taken the business world by storm and is revolutionizing the way brands interact with its customers. Together with adding brand awareness, social selling and social commerce takes direct selling brands straight to the customer hearts improving brand credibility and trust. This is also a proven way to identifying market trends and patterns, fast changing customer patterns and competitors.   

Looking into greater detail, the benefits of these influential concepts is formidable in the direct selling space. It has made commendable increase in sales and distributor base for many direct selling brands. Here are some important benefits of social selling and social commerce for direct selling businesses.  

1. Improved customer engagement 

2. Shorter sales cycle 

3. Optimized marketing 

4. Out of the world shopping experience 

5. Great space for market research 

6. Identify the target audience 

7. Identify customer and market trends and patterns  

These are just few of the myriad benefits social selling and social commerce can present businesses with. And with technology constantly evolving, there are more in store for businesses to continuously experiment and explore.  

With more than half of the world on social media, what is best than establishing a business in the social space! 

This article was published on 25.09.2023 by Noufal P Bava
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